Ryan Esquell Recognition

Ryan Esquell, Vice President - Abound Resources, was recognized for his leadership and service to IBAT and community banking through his service on the Associate Member Advisory Council.

Ryan has been a member of the Advisory Council since 2009 and served as chairman of the Council since 2010. Under his leadership, the Council has grown the Associate Member Exchange at the IBAT Convention and created Associate Member Area Networking Events across the state.

"This is a well-deserved honor and we appreciate Ryan's commitment and hard work as chairman of the Advisory Council and his dedication to the Texas community banking industry," said IBAT President and CEO Chris Williston.

Home Equity Rules

The wheels of justice turn slowly.  In 2004, the Finance Commission and Credit Union Commission adopted rules interpreting the home equity lending constitutional amendments. Within weeks, ACORN, along with 6 individuals, and with the assistance of other organizations including AARP, filed a lawsuit challenging some of the rules.  IBAT considered intervening, but there were a number of potential liability issues that the intervention could have triggered.  Since the case turned on "legal" instead of "factual" considerations,  IBAT decided to work behind the scenes until an appeal was filed and file thorough amici curiae ("friend of the court") briefs on the legal issues.

The Texas Supreme Court issued a decision in the case last week. In a special email from IBAT last Friday, we shared an initial analysis from an attorney involved in the case.  IBAT General Counsel Karen Neeley has shared her thoughts on the consequences and possible actions for community banks to consider.

"Often lost in the discussion of this lawsuit are the dozens of rules that were not challenged—or were upheld by the Court of Appeals and not further appealed—and the fact that these rules have made home equity loans in Texas both widely available and safer for Texas consumers," remarked Chris Williston, IBAT President and CEO. "We hope that those on both sides of this suit will join IBAT in commending the joint commissions on their hard work and dedication."

Karen Neeley will share her thoughts in more detail during IBAT's free State Legislative Update Webinar today, Tuesday, June 25th. To register, please click here.

Week in Review - 06.21.13

We've all been warned about the potential folly of making wishes. They might come true. Market participants [last] week were wishing that Fed Chairman Bernanke would elucidate his position on the future of Quantitative Easing. You know, clear up that little misunderstanding about the prospect of a "tapering off" of the Fed's monthly $85B asset purchases. Well, Ben cleared things up a bit, but it was clearly not the kind of clarity the markets wanted to hear. His lucidity about reducing the size of the asset purchases later this year and ending them altogether in 2014 sent equity and credit markets reeling. The sell-off in bonds continue[d] [Friday] morning with early trading taking the yield to near 2.50% on the Treasury's Benchmark Ten Year... Read more in the Baker Market Update.

CSI Webinar

Communicating with your Board of Directors is often a cumbersome and daunting task, particularly when making sure you are compliant with all of the regulations surrounding board communications. Learn how hundreds of community bankers have gone paperless and improved their communications with their Board of Directors at the same time by joining us for a 30 minute informative webinar:

Date: June 27th
Time: 10:00am CT
Presenter: Bill Evers

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How portal technologies are being used to improve board communications;
  • How directors can gain secure 24/7 access to online board materials;
  • How you can host paperless board meetings using tablet technologies, online voting, policy management and more; and
  • How you can effortlessly move to paperless board books

Follow this link to register for the webinar. Reserve your spot today!

BOCB Entry Deadline

The deadline for submitting your Best of Community Banking Award entries is June 25th.  

This is your opportunity to tell the story of your bank's involvement in your community and the exceptional projects you've undertaken over the past year.  

Gold, silver and bronze awards will be given in the categories of Architectural Design, Community Service, Financial Literacy and Marketing. All entries will be on display during the IBAT Convention and Gold Eagle Award recipients will be recognized during the Best of Community Banking Awards Luncheon on September 23, 2013 at the Westin La Cantera in San Antonio.

Legislative Update Webinar

IBAT will provide a thorough review of the 83rd Texas Legislative Session on June 25, 2013 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. The webinar will be conducted by Karen Neeley and Steve Scurlock and is FREE of charge. A recording will be available after the fact, for future reference.

Additionally, our post-session white paper should be ready for distribution electronically prior to the program date.  

We hope you plan to join us for an informative discussion on issues impacting the community banking industry. Click here to register for the webinar.

Financial Literacy Summit

The IBAT Education Foundation and the Texas Bankers Foundation invite you to join us at our annual statewide conference, The Financial Literacy Summit, on Thursday, July 25 from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m., and on Friday, July 26 from 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Dallas Federal Reserve.

The summit highlights promising practices, critical challenges and opportunities in promoting financial capability to all Texans - children, young adults and adults.  Our goal is to help Texas bankers be aware of the opportunities (and risks) in providing financial education as an outreach to help our communities, regions and ultimately our State continue to grow.

Conference attendees are mostly bankers who share a passion for financial education small business officers, marketing officers, community reinvestment officers, presidents as well as regulators, innovators, policy influencers and teachers.

We welcome your participation and engagement.

Special Baker Group Report

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in May suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace. Labor market conditions have shown further improvement in recent months, on balance, but the unemployment rate remains elevated. Household spending and business fixed investment advanced, and the housing sector has strengthened further, but fiscal policy is restraining economic growth. Partly reflecting transitory influences, inflation has been running below the Committee's longer-run objective, but longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable... Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Excellence in Leadership Award

IBAT would like to congratulate Gary Wells, Senior Banking Officer at Happy State Bank in Amarillo, for being honored with the Excellence in Leadership Award on Friday, June 14, at the 28th Annual Leadership Conference.

Wells joined Happy State Bank in 1991. The bank opened its first Amarillo location in 1994 and he served as president of the office.  He was promoted to executive vice president and senior lending officer in 1997.

Wells has served on various boards throughout the Amarillo community over the years. He recently held the Chairman position of the Leadership Division of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas. 

2013 Leadership Conference

A crowd of more than six hundred, composed of IBAT members and their families, were on hand last week for the 28th Annual IBAT Leadership Conference at the Horseshoe Bay Marriott. The Marriott was abuzz with Duck fever, as attendees flocked to hear Jase Robertson, star of A&E's Duck Dynasty. Other highlights of the conference included:

  • A regulatory panel with staff from the Texas Department of Banking, including Commissioner Charles Cooper;
  • Insight into non-traditional marketing with Andy Slipher of Slipher Marketing;
  • Lessons on success and failure from Dr. Jeff Hester of the Hubble Telescope project; and
  • Do you know Credit? Beyond the numbers: How FICO Credit Scoring Really Works from Eddie Johansson

The conference was capped off by a performance from Texas Country artist Bruce Robison and a planning breakfast for leaders in each of the IBAT Leadership Division regions to plan the year ahead.  Many thanks to all who participated in the Conference. Pictures from the event are now available to view online. Click here to see IBAT's Money Camp kids in action.

Save the date for next year's conference: June 26-28, 2014 at the JW Marriott Hotel in San Antonio.

Debit Surcharge Bill Signed

On Friday of last week, Governor Rick Perry signed HB 3068, prohibiting surcharges on debit card transactions at the point of sale for all but governmental entities.  The bill, championed by IBAT during the 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, drew "unfriendly fire" from several merchant trade associations and a conservative "think tank" during the process.  IBAT was able to convince members of the legislature, however, that debit cards should be afforded the same protections already afforded to credit cards.  The responses of IBAT member bankers to our several "calls to action" made a huge difference, and played a key role in getting this bill across the finish line.     

"We felt that a prohibition on debit surcharges was essential to ensure parity of community bank debit cards and protection of community bank customers," said IBAT Executive Vice President Steve Scurlock. "The passage of HB 3068 should preempt any efforts by retailers to enter into relationships with the largest financial institutions that could lead to steering of transactions towards those banks' cards."

With the Governor's signature, HB 3068 is scheduled to take effect on September 1, 2013.  This, and many other issues, will be covered in IBAT's free post-legislative webinar on Tuesday, June 25. Click here to register for the webinar.

Week in Review June 14

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. In fact, the livin' is so easy that the National Federation of Independent Business, a non-profit organization, announced this week that their Small Business Optimism Index rose unexpectedly to 94.4 from its previous 92.1. Nobody saw that coming. Well, maybe the NSA saw that coming. Tuesday also brought the first of three disappointing Treasury auctions that reminded us that the optimism enjoyed by small businessmen is not necessarily shared by all. The sales of three, ten, and thirty year issues all suffered from lukewarm investor demand as evidenced by sharply lower bid-to-cover ratios; a measurement that compares the number of bidders who want bonds to the number of bidders who get bonds. While all three auctions resulted in significantly higher yields than last month's sales, the Benchmark Ten year backed up the most with a 2.21% result in June compared to May's 1.81% outcome... Read more in the Baker Market Update.

Financial Literacy Contest

Texas Students in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock and San Antonio Created Artistic Visions of Financial Literacy with “Saving for Success” Theme

DALLAS– June 5, 2013 – Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) and PlainsCapital Bank announced winners of the 2013 Financial Literacy Poster Contest, which challenged students to illustrate financial literacy and this year’s theme of “Saving for Success.” The winners were chosen from more than 890 entries submitted by students across Texas, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Representatives from CCCS and PlainsCapital Bank presented students with prize money and recognition certificates at their schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock and San Antonio. Student winners and their corresponding teachers will each be awarded $100. Runners-up and their teachers will each win $50. In addition, Todd Mark, vice president of education for CCCS, taught a “Kids and Money” class focusing on important financial literacy lessons for the entire family at many of the award ceremonies.

“We were amazed at the participation and level of creativity provided by students to illustrate the ‘Saving for Success’ theme,” said Todd Mark. “CCCS is thankful that our partner, PlainsCapital Bank, has worked with us for two years to get students excited about financial literacy and smart money management. It is so important for students to have a strong foundation when it comes to making smart money decisions and we believe the poster contest gets students started in the right direction.”

CCCS and PlainsCapital Bank partnered for the second year to host the student poster contest and the winners are:


  • Sriya Mechineni, 4th grade, Barton Creek Elementary

Greater Dallas:

  • Hannah Sears, 10th grade, Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education Center
  • Camille Murray, 9th grade, Prince of Peace Christian School
  • Esmeralda Garcia, 8th grade, E.D. Walker Middle School
  • Jennifer Saucedo, 8th grade, Jubilee Park & Community Center (runner-up)
  • Julian Lopez, 5th grade, Jubilee Park & Community Center
  • Jade Radford, 4th grade, Isbell Elementary
  • Sarah Boutouis, 3rd grade, Isbell Elementary (runner-up)

Fort Worth:

  • Julio Joel Alvarez Avila, 12th grade, Polytechnic High School
  • Katelyn Aguilar, 7th grade, Daggett Middle School


  • Kaci Dobbs, 11th grade, Coronado High School
  • Hiroyo Masuda, 11th grade, Coronado High School
  • Daniela Lopez, 3rd grade, McWhorter Elementary

San Antonio:

  • Nicholas Martinez, 7th grade, San Antonio Youth Association
  • Legacy Lopez, 5th grade, San Antonio Youth Association
  • Priscilla Lumbreras, 5th grade, San Antonio Youth Association

“It has been such a pleasure to sponsor this exciting poster contest and we are thrilled to see the number of creative posters from students across Texas,” said Pete Villareal, chief administrative officer for PlainsCapital Bank. “We know that smart money management education is critical to success as an adult and we hope that participating in the poster contest will jump start students thinking about financial literacy in a fun way.”

Photographs from the award presentations, as well as copies of the winning posters, are available upon request. Please contact Ginger Greenberg at ggreenberg@cccs.net

About CCCS of Greater Dallas

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, Inc. is a nonprofit, community-based credit counseling and debt management service. Established in 1974, CCCS of Greater Dallas and its affiliate offices provide financial education and counseling to consumers in-person, by phone, or Internet at 15 locations in four states. CCCS of Greater Dallas is a HUD-approved housing counseling multi-state organization and serves as one of seven counseling agencies supporting the 888-995-HOPE Hotline. The agency is also a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling network. CCCS of Greater Dallas is a service partner of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. To learn more about CCCS of Greater Dallas’ free seminars or the agency’s services, call 800-249-2227, visit www.cccs.net or become a fan of CCCS of Greater Dallas on Facebook to receive updates on agency events and offerings.

About PlainsCapital Bank

Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank has the strength and stability of $6.6 billion in assets1, operates 34 Texas branches and has more than 670 employees providing highly personalized relationship banking through a single point of contact. Offering commercial lending, treasury management, small business banking, private banking, and trust and wealth management services, PlainsCapital Bank empowers responsive, local decision making in each of its major markets: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock and San Antonio. PlainsCapital Bank is part of the PlainsCapital Corporation family of companies. PlainsCapital Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH). Find more information at PlainsCapital.com.

Source: 1December 31, 2012 Call Report for PlainsCapital Bank

Texas First Donation

Employees of Texas First Bank in Texas City joined efforts to assist victims of the West fertilizer plant explosion in April, adding more than $11,000 to the Texas Bankers Disaster Relief Fund.  

The contributions of Texas First Bank employees will be added to the $143,533 presented to Charles Nemec, President and Chief Executive Officer of POINTWEST Bank, and Dalbert Thiele, President of The State National Bank at a presentation in West on May 31.

"After recent hurricanes, Texas First employees have been all-too-well associated with disaster," said President and CEO Chris Doyle, "we hope in a small way this helps in the healing process for West."

Operations Compliance Summit

There's still time to register for the June 20-21 Operations Compliance Summit at the Sheraton Hotel in Austin! This timely educational seminar will benefit anyone responsible for operations and compliance in IBAT member banks. Among the many issues to be discussed, we'll cover:

  • The current BSA/AML environment and ongoing changes;
  • New Remittance Rules;
  • Employment Law;
  • Account Documentation and Operations Issues; and
  • Emerging Technology.

Click here to learn more or register now to attend the Summit!